The week in content marketing with King Content strategist Lieu Pham
In this Google-centric edition, the tech company dispels rumours it will favour content based on facts, while unveiling its new, branded YouTube content play. Elsewhere, we learn about the new video-streaming app Meerkat – will it be a potential tool for citizen journalists or just another platform for narcissists?
Also in this issue, we look at the evolution of SXSW (corporate sellout or brand necessity?), deconstruct Facebook’s updated offensive content policy, and get the heads up on .SUCKS, a domain that’s sure to stir up a bit of controversy.
Content Marketing & Media
This could be a brand’s worse nightmare. ICAAN, the internet ‘powers that be’, has released a new domain (.SUCKS) that will go on sale on June 1. Companies and public figures will have the chance to trademark their names to ease their paranoia, but it will set them back US$2,500.
SXSW celebrates both the tech counterculture and the music counterculture, but increasingly the festival’s been criticised for selling out, its appeal diminished by the increasing brand presence. Journalist David Holmes calls for the haters to stop hating and to instead come to terms with corporate reality. In his opinion piece for Pando, Holmes contemplates whether SXSW is still relevant. The answer may surprise you.
Google doesn’t want to be the arbiter of truth
Recently, a paper by Google researchers discussing the idea of an algorithmic change to favour websites based on facts, not links, caused a ruckus. This article explains why Google becoming ‘the arbiter of truth’ would be dangerous in all kinds of ways. Even Google says it doesn’t want that responsibility, as there is no such thing as absolutes in the world of content. However, Slate writers David Weinberger and Dan Gillmor say this shouldn’t stop Google from awarding fact-based sites by placing them higher on the search results.
The state of link-building for SEO in 2015?
The goal posts are always shifting when it comes to Google’s algorithms, and this is no more apparent than in its approach to link-building. For example, Google’s Penguin update means that acquiring too many links, or too many of the same kind, or even irrelevant links (low-quality sources) can attract a penalty, so it’s often easier not to include links in the first place. However, if done correctly and with a focus on publishing quality content that’s shareable, link-building can deliver a number of search results.
Social & Tech
Released last month, Meerkat is a new video-streaming app that allows your followers to watch whatever you’re recording in real time. The video isn’t archived. It has shades of the ephemerality of Snapchat, but it allows you to save video onto your phone. The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage says the platform has potential to be claimed by citizen journalists, but suspects it’s also going to attract narcissists posting mundane footage. Let’s hope it goes the journalistic route.
YouTube has adopted the mantra of ‘show don’t tell’ to support brands in becoming better content producers. ‘Behind the Scenes’, Google’s first-of-its-kind video series for YouTube, shows the journey of planning and executing a video series, using last year’s Clean & Clear ‘See the Real Me’ as a case study.
The social giant has spoken: breastfeeding is in but rear ends are off limits. Facebook has refreshed its Community Standards policy after it revisited definitions of offensive and harmful content – specifically, sensitive photos and strongly worded language. The update also addresses more personal privacy issues and consensual sharing of nude photos and sex tapes.
A change in Google’s news algorithm bodes well for companies and their PR agencies. Analysts warn that this update will allow media releases and corporate statements (think ‘About Us’) to rank in ‘in the news’ searches. Up until now the links that appear in this section from these sources had to be approved by Google. This has implications for news organisations that rely on Google’s traffic, and for individuals seeking objective news about a particular company.
A recent Nielsen report revealed at least 15 per cent of TV viewers enjoy TV more when social media is involved. To capitalise on this insight, Twitter is currently experimenting with second-screen viewing by inviting people to try the new feature (consider it a TweetDeck for TV) in order to manage and optimise Twitter topics and conversations about TV shows.
Tips, Tools & Tactics
With tight turnarounds and formidable deadlines, it’s easy to understand why fact-checking gets left by the wayside. For most of us, it’s a DIY affair and often left until the very last minute. To help us out on our quest for error-free content, CMI has published this handy B2B guide featuring tips, procedures and other great advice.
When it comes to finding out what your competitors are up to, websites are not the only place to haunt. As Social Media Examiner’s blog shows, there’s plenty of action happening on social channels. Check out this guide explaining how to conduct a competitor review in four easy ways, including analysing Twitter audiences and comparing Facebook activity.
To save us time and help us better engage with audiences, Buffer’s Jimmy Daly shares his tips and tricks to integrating social with email marketing. Here are six of his favourite channel tactics.
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